This one is long overdue! Do you ever just start thinking about one food and then days later you start craving a recipe with made with that food that you haven’t even created yet? That seems to happen to me often, sometimes it works out and other times, not so much! This time though…this time was right on the money. This all started because I saw these beautiful Rainer cherries in my local grocery store and I wanted them just for how nice they would look in my old school quart container (yes, I am the person that organizes her refrigerator based on looks rather than convenience…doesn’t food gratification start with the eyes?!). I brought them home, washed them up and transferred them to my bright green crate. Then I had a bite and my mind would not stop racing with different recipes options. I settled on a spicy chutney because I am obsessed with sweet heat and with toppings and dip. Here’s how it came together:
Chops with Jalapeño Cherry Chutney
1 large, thick cut, bone-in pork chop
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
couple of fennel seeds, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 quart of Rainer cherries, quartered
1 jalapeño, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp agave nectar
1 cup white wine
small handful chopped thai basil
salt & pepper
1 tbsp butter
Start by marinating the pork chop in a plastic bag with the olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, fennel, garlic salt, pepper and bay leaves. I usually marinate for about 20-30 minutes, the vinegar will start to ‘cook’ the meat so I minimize the time to keep the meat from getting tough.
While the pork marinates, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the cherries, jalapeño, and onion. Saute until the onions are translucent, add the honey and then deglaze with the white wine. Season with salt and pepper and lower heat to medium-lo, let the mixture reduce and thicken.
Remove the chop from the marinade and set on counter to take chill off from the refrigerator. After about 5 minutes, transfer chop to high heat grill, cook about 5-7 minutes on each side (timing will depend on how thick the chop is and how well-done you like it…I like mine pink but ‘they’ say the safe internal temperature for pork is now 145 degrees with 3 minutes rest time). Our chop that I picked up from the local farmer’s market was huge, about 1.3 lbs, so it was plenty for the both of us. After the chop has rested, cut into thin slices for serving.
Plate over grilled asparagus or steamed white rice. Stir in the thai basil and butter into the warm chutney and once the butter has been fully incorporated, top the pork with a generous spoonful of the still warm chutney. Enjoy!